Here’s an update post I’ve been waiting to do for a long time. For the first time in our adult lives, Rachel and I have a net worth above zero!
That’s right, for the entirety of the time I’ve been writing here about personal finance (and for quite some time before that), we have owed more than we’ve had. Now, thanks to a combination of one good decision I made among all the other terrible ones, Dave Ramsey slapping us in the face and putting us on a real budget, and ultimately, God showing us that our money is actually His money, we’ve finally hit a milestone.
It’s likely to keep flirting with that zero line over the next several weeks as our normal spending continues to happen, but it feels like this is a huge sign that we’re doing things the right way!
What a Positive Net Worth Means
First, the literal definition. Net worth is just a measure of all the stuff of financial value you own (assets) minus all the commitments you have to pay other people (liabilities), or debt. For many years, we have owed so much that even if you sold off our cars and emptied our bank accounts, we’d still be in the hole. We’ve now paid enough down (and had our retirement account grow enough) that we’d at least break even.
Second, the more abstract version. The fact that it’s growing instead of shrinking (not the actual dollar amount) means we’re handling God’s money in a responsible manner. It means we can begin looking towards building wealth instead of simply paying the people we owe. It means retirement calculators will no longer laugh at us and error out when they ask where we’re at now.
What It Doesn’t Mean
You might have noticed that this is the first net worth post I’ve ever done. Honestly, it’ll probably be the last. Some people use their net worth as a measuring stick for who they are, and that’s not the approach that Rachel and I take, so I want to avoid the temptation to do the same. Our identity is in Jesus Christ, not in a bank statement, and so it follows that our worth comes from who He is and what He’s done, not in how many piles of cash we have.
I’ll continue to track our net worth privately for our own planning purposes, but it’s not important for the message this site is trying to convey, which is that a right view of money contributes to a more fulfilling life. I want you to see our story, not our place on the “scoreboard.” Our wealth (or lack thereof, really) has no impact on your ability to build your own.
For now, just celebrate with us the result of God’s blessings! This is truly one of those things where, when you’re standing at the beginning of the road, it seems milestones like this will never come. But this one has, and the rest will follow!